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Göteborg: 5 October 2017

The Swedish Club: Don't overlook the risk of cargo fires

Cargo fires occur so infrequently that awareness of the risk can slip under the radar. Yet such an incident on board a vessel can have disastrous consequences including loss of life or catastrophic loss of the vessel involved. With the average cost of a cargo fire at several million USD, cargo fires are not a risk to be overlooked.

The Swedish Club, working in conjunction with Burgoynes, experts specialising in the investigation of fires, explosions and other major incidents, has produced a handbook, ‘Fire! A guide to the causes and prevention of cargo fires’, which can be used alongside the regulations to assist seafarers in their daily loss prevention efforts.

Front page TSC Fire brochure‘Fire!’ offers loss prevention advice on a number of incidents – focusing specifically on self-heating cargoes, but also examining those vessel fires caused by other sources such as cargo hold lights, fumigation, movement of cargo and of course smoking and hot work. It also highlights how different vessel types fare when the frequency of cargo fires is compared. Tanker figures are found to be relatively low, a testament to the tight regulation and safety culture that exists in this industry. On the other hand RoRo figures are surprisingly high due to the non-homogeneous nature of the cargo they carry.

Lars A. Malm, The Swedish Club’s Director Strategic Business Development & Client Relations, is clear about the importance of the guide: “When a fire breaks out on board a vessel there is no fire service ready to assist in extinguishing it – that is up to the crew themselves. All those who have worked on board a vessel are aware of the difficulties involved with managing a fire and the crucial importance of fire prevention.”

Burgoynes Partner, Neil Sanders, explains: “Self-heating and related issues can affect a wide variety of cargoes including coal, iron in the form of direct reduced iron (DRI), metal turnings, charcoal, seed cake, biomass, fertilisers, solid chemicals and liquid chemicals. Whilst the full relevant International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC) or International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) requirements must always be understood and followed, ‘Fire!’ is aimed at supporting that understanding and providing valuable support to the seafarer.”

‘Fire!’ can be downloaded from The Swedish Club website,, or please request a press copy from

Click here to download the press release in pdf.format»

Notes to Editors
For further information please contact:

Debra Massey
Elaborate Communications
+44 (0) 1296 682356

An international partnership specialising in the investigation of incidents including fires, explosions, engineering and materials failures, chemical and contamination problems. Burgoynes offers scientific and engineering advice to the marine and land-based legal, insurance and commercial sectors. Founded in the UK around 50 years ago, its offices in the UK and internationally are located to enable response to incidents worldwide. More information about Burgoynes is available at

The Swedish Club
The Swedish Club was founded by shipowners in 1872 and is today a leading and diversified mutual marine insurance company, owned and controlled by its members. The Club writes Protection & Indemnity, Freight, Demurrage & Defence, Hull & Machinery, Hull Interests, Loss of Hire, War Risks, and any additional insurances required by shipowners or charterers. It also writes Hull & Machinery, War risks and Loss of Hire for Mobile Offshore Units and FPSOs.
Its head office is located in Gothenburg, Sweden, with branch offices in Piraeus, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Oslo and London. More information about the Club is available at:

Visiting address

The Swedish Club
Gullbergs Strandgata 6
SE-411 04 Gothenburg

Postal address

The Swedish Club
Gullbergs Strandgata 6
P.O Box 171
SE-401 22 Gothenburg


Tel +46 31 638 400
Fax +46 31 156 711


+46 31 151 328

+30 6944 530 856

Hong Kong:
+852 2598 6464

+81 44 222 0082

+46 31 151 328

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